For the 21st year in a row, the Penn wrestling team tamed the Tigers.
In their regular season finale, the Quakers defeated Princeton, 24-10. Penn’s grapplers took seven of 10 bouts to secure a second-place finish in the Ivy League.
The Tigers (7-13, 1-4 Ivy) jumped out to a 3-0 lead following Ryan Cash’s victory over Karim Shafi at 125 pounds. But Penn’s No. 14 Bryan Ortenzio followed with a 10-2 major decision over Joe DeQuinzio at 133 pounds, giving the Quakers (8-6, 3-2) a 4-3 lead. They never trailed again.
At 141 pounds, the marquee matchup of the day between Penn’s No. 13 Zack Kemmerer and Princeton’s No. 15 Adam Krop ended with a close 3-1 win for Kemmerer. The senior, who dominated most of the match offensively, broke a 1-1 tie with a takedown in the third period.
“[Krop] is a really counter-offensive guy, he’s really funky,” Kemmerer said. “He just waits until people shoot and then he does what he does. It was just a matter of time.”
Kemmerer finished the season with a 10-0 record against EIWA and Ivy wrestlers. Although he will be the No. 1 seed at the EIWA Championships in two weeks, he has a bigger goal in mind.
“I’m in the hunt for a national title,” Kemmerer said. “[Defeating Krop] was just a small stepping stone along the way.”
Both of the Red and Blue’s freshman sensations, Steven Robertson at 149 and Lorenzo Thomas at 165, won for the 21st time this season, scoring 9-0 and 6-0 shutouts over Princeton’s Robert Shepherd and Rich Eva, respectively.
The Quakers’ only other losses came at 157 and 174 pounds. No. 15 Daniel Kolodzik defeated Penn’s Troy Hernandez by a 9-0 major decision at 157, while No. 33 Andy Lowy beat Canaan Bethea, 6-2, at 174.
At 184 pounds, Erich Smith avenged a 6-5 loss from earlier this season to Princeton’s Dan Santoro with a 6-2 victory.
“There was this situation late in the match when the Princeton kid had Erich’s leg up in the air … he could’ve scored but Erich did something quick, fought hard and turned it into his points,” coach Rob Eiter said. “If he wrestles like that and has that attitude, it will be awful hard to beat him in two weeks.”
No. 9 Micah Burak sealed the deal for the Quakers with his 8-5 win over Kurt Brendel at 197. Heavyweight Steven Graziano then defeated Charles Fox to conclude a great showing for the Red and Blue, whose focus will now shift to EIWAs.
“We’re happy to get the regular season out of the way and move on to what we’ve trained for all year,” Eiter said.
Kemmerer, who has high aspirations, knows what to expect for himself and the rest of his team.
“At the end of the season it’s pretty much who has the best day, who has the best preparation,” he said. “Anything can happen once you get to the big dance.”